The Vikings were more than just barbarians and plunder. They were complex people, keen travelers, farmers, skilled seafarers, the balance of the universe, and believers in destiny. When talking about the famous Vikings, individuals such as Erick the Red, Eric Bloodaxe, Olaf Tryggvason, Harald Hardrada, and Stiklestad Museum are well remembered in history.
The beliefs and lifestyle of the Vikings acted as inspiration for tattoos, films, and literature. Even though there is little evidence confirming that they were tattooed, the belief has been accepted. The Viking tattoos are linked to fearlessness, bravery, and strength.
Different Types of Viking Tattoos
The Viking warriors did not adorn massive swords and horned helmets to battles during Norse mythology as opposed to the central beliefs. One of the unique things about the Viking warriors is that they had tattoos to signify their way of life, devotion to family, strength, and power.
The Viking warriors were portrayed as individuals with wielding shields, axes, and swords. They are also believed to have braided or long beards apart from blond or long red hair. Lastly, the Viking warriors put on large horned helmets.
1. Valknut Tattoo
The tattoo involved three interlocking triangles, which are pointed upwards. On most of the occasions, Odin appeared beside Valknut, and this made it to be regarded as an Odin sign. Therefore, it was believed that the sign showed that Odin welcomed the warriors to dwell in Valhalla, which was regarded as the Hall of the Brave Warriors in Asgard. The tattoo is linked to death and life, and the Odin sign beside it shows good measure.
2. Yggdrasil Tattoo
In the Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil was the Great Tree. It was the tree of life holding nine worlds and linked to everything that is on earth. The huge Ash tree connected nine worlds in the Norse mythology to each other, and there was a belief that gods would frequently visit it.
3. Rune Tatoo
The Runes are a kind of Norse insignias with mysterious magical powers. Runes are also regarded as ancient Viking alphabet developed in describing things and places. They were about 24, and each had symbolism, including Yggdrasil and Odin representation. In creating a meaningful ink, several runes have to be combined.
The symbols are simple, which means that it is easy to recreate them in small and big sizes providing the option of playing with the options of placement. If one needs finger tattoos, then go ahead and make them; they look fantastic, as shown in pictures. One gets the chance to determine the kind of rune tattoo while selecting a geometric tattoo.
4. Vegvísir Tattoo
Vegvisir means “That which shows the Way” that plays an important role in guiding the bearer on the correct path. In Iceland, this kind of tattoo is common, as Bjork also has it. Body art is also linked to protection, direction, and guidance.
While on journeys, the object would bring good luck and assist people if any difficulties or storms come their way. Apart from guiding the Vikings at sea, the tattoos assisted them in making significant choices in life. If anyone wants to find his or her way and stay on the right path, then this is the right tattoo.
5. Ouroboros Tattoo
The other tattoos represented the circle of life, continuity, and rebirth, but they are not striking as compared to Ouroboros. The tattoo has a giant snake, which is circular in shape and eats its tail. Therefore, the tattoo represents renewal, death, and life. The symbol further expresses the unity of material and spiritual things and represents destruction and rebirthing the eternal cycle.
6. Thor Hammer Tattoo
Among the Norse Gods, Thor stands out prominently and influenced the tattoo type. Thor’s hammer gained respect as compared to the other weapons. The hammer is linked to storm, thunder, and lighting.
Mjolnir, or rather the hammer of Thor, was very powerful, and it could level mountains. It is also considered the most famous tattoo as it is mainly used in books, tv shows, and films. Initially, the weapon was utilised in defeating giants, an indication that the tattoo would represent bravery, strength, and courage.
7. The Helm of Awe Tattoo
Also known as, Aegishjalmur the symbol had eight spikes, which pointed out from the center. The symbol represents superpower and protection, and it was worn when joining the war. The tattoo is believed to give the Vikings courage and strength as well as helping them become victors in the battle.
8. Huginn and Muninn
Huginn and Muninn were pairs of ravens that normally perched on the shoulder of Odin. In the Norse, Huginn and Muninn’s words meant thought and memory. In a way, the two ravens symbolize all Seeing Eye as they watch over.
The two intelligent ravens represent god’s presence and power. When one needs a tattoo, he or she is inked with the two ravens to symbolize Viking Warrior or Odin. Because of the unique shape and size of the ravens, they were placed in the chest and shoulders.
9. Web of Wyrd Tattoo
Web of Wyrd Tattoo is also known as Viking Matrix of Faith, and it is considered as a powerful symbol that entails runic shapes. Norns weaved the symbol; it shaped the destiny of all individuals. The tattoo was a reminder regarding the fact that past actions represent the present, and the present may also influence the future. In short, it was considered a universal interconnectedness sign.
10. Longboat Tattoo
The Viking longboats are adorned with dragonhead, and their aim was to instill fear in the shoreside while people were riding. The boats allowed the Vikings to sail further. During Norse mythology, the Vikings would not be victorious in their different raids if there were no ships to take them to their different battles. The longboat tattoos represent adventure, new beginnings, and travel apart from symbolizing willingness to take a risk, success, and achieving more in life.
Viking Tattoos Colors
On the color spectrum, the Viking tattoos are divided into two; full color or white and black.
Commonly Used Colors
- Dark Blue
- Dark Green
Common Viking Tattoo Placement and Styles
- Tattooed from one’s fingers to the neck
- From the tips